Girls in sports…benefits in the workplace

I read a very interesting article about the benefits of sports participation for girls and women. Why Sports Participation for Girls and Women

Research shows that between ages 6-9, boys and girls are equally interested in sports participation, but by the age of 14, girls drop out of sport at a rate SIX times greater than boys. Even though our daughters are not as likely to be discouraged from playing sports as they were 10 years ago (thanks to Title IX), they aren’t encouraged to the same extent as little boys. We need to encourage our daughters’ sports participation, so they can derive the psychological physiological and sociological benefits of sports participation that boys and men have received for years.

We’ve all heard about the benefits for girls involved in sports:

*they’re less likely to have unwanted pregnancy
*more likely to get better grades in school
*higher levels of confidence, self esteem, and lower levels of depression
*more positive body image and higher states of psychological well-being

and yadda yadda yadda…

But, the interesting thing in this article is the fact that women entering the workforce, who don’t know the written and unwritten rules of sport are at a disadvantage in understanding business models of organization.

For example:

1. Teams are chosen based on people’s strengths and competencies rather than popularity
2. Successful players are skilled in practicing the illusion of confidence
3. Errors are expected of people trying to do new things. Just don’t make the same mistake twice
4. Loyalty to teammates is very important
5. “I will” equals “I can”
6. In a hierarchical organization, your boss (coach) gives the orders and the employees (players) follow the instructions.

Sport is where boys have traditionally learned about teamwork, goal-setting, pursuit of excellence in performance and other achievement-oriented behaviors–critical skills necessary for success in the workplace. It’s no accident that 80% of female executives at Fortune 500 companies identified themselves as former “tomboys”-having played sports.

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